A federal judge ruled the Cherokee Nation may not be party to an Oklahoma lawsuit against poultry producers, according to reports.

U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frizzell said he would have allowed the tribe to intervene had the request been timely.

Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson is suing 12 poultry companies, in a claim that chicken waste contaminated the Illinois River watershed.

The Cherokee Nation plans to appeal the decision.

Defendants in the lawsuit include Tyson, Cargill and Cal-Maine.